Los Angeles Review of Books: Stone

By Hunter Dukes
Los Angeles Review of Books

Stone by Jeffrey Jerome CohenStone seeks liveliness in what might be the most mundane of substances. For too long, the lithic has been thought of as cold and inert, the unchanging foil to life’s rapid evolution. If our historic engagement with stone is the story of cave painting, toolmaking, and home building, Cohen wants to recover a secret history that moves beyond such utilitarian domination. His version is about collaboration and gregarious commingling between humans and stones. Look closely at ammonite and watch the borderline between the organic and inorganic quietly dissolve. Contemplate a gem to reveal medieval lapidary magic, global trade routes, and the humbling scale of deep time. Cohen zooms out from a pebble to a planet and finds “a durable link to a dynamic cosmos.”

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